Sunday, September 28, 2014

Flying Down the Neuse

Saturday afternoon, Adam and I had the delight of sailing with friends who came to Oriental for a month this summer. Ted and Mili are friendly, hospitable folks who love to sail. They're back in Oriental briefly, and we snatched the afternoon for a trip down the Neuse to South River. Here's their boat, Morning Glory.
She's a beautiful, broad catamaran.
Ted picked us up at the dinghy dock in their dinghy and brought us around to the back of the boat. We stepped out onto the pontoon extensions and then up the stairs into their home-away-from-home.
This is what we found. Have you ever seen anything lovelier? I was overcome with how pretty, how relaxing, how welcoming this room is. Everything about it says, "Hello, you've just arrived in the Bahamas."
Here's Mili, a sweetie.
Here's Cap'n Ted, an utterly reliable sailor.
Here's the kind of afternoon we enjoyed.
Mili took me on a little tour of Morning Glory. Steps lead down into the pontoon cabins on either side.
She has a very agreeable galley kitchen. Where Mili's standing is another smaller dining room for when you don't want to eat in the larger room above. Sleeping berths are in both pontoons with double beds.
I loved her kitchen with the double sink and so much storage in those cabinets -- so handy!
I hate to post a bathroom picture, but they do have a lovely, clean head. No worries in that department.
Soon we'd motored out of the anchorage, and it was time to raise the sails. Ted did all this while Mili took the helm.
He raised the main and also put up the jib out front.
And we took off! We went 7 or 8 knots, that's 8 or 9 mph.
Token selfie. Mili leant me a jacket because it became chilly with all the wind coming at us.
We chose South River because there are some stories attached to it. Once a little community thrived here. I can only tell you what I've heard -- that their schools were closed, and the families had to move elsewhere to educate their children. Some families dismantled their homes and moved them across the river to Oriental. I don't know what year this occurred. I do know there's a cemetery still maintained along South River. I've heard you can only access it by boat. Some older folks still ask to be interred there, and their loved ones come across the water for the burials and to visit the graves.
In the protection of South River, the water stilled, the wind calmed, and we settled down for some snacks around the table.
I think Adam and I polished off the peanut M&Ms.
It really was so very lovely. I can't thank our friends enough for graciously sharing their boat and their afternoon with us. The river was choppy, and I did feel a little seasick (a rarity for me), but it did not spoil the beauty of the day. I was rather enamored of the peace and comfort of this boat, and I could see Adam's hopeful eyes. Will she possibly, someday, be willing to live on a boat???
Looking back down South River
Ted took a nice shot of us enjoying the view.
What a great day! Can you believe we get to live here? I know -- I occasionally still pinch myself :)
Thanks Ted and Mili! Y'all are the BEST, and we hope you'll come back to Oriental soon!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

In Search of Texas Burnt Orange

A very dear childhood friend (and cousin!) asked if I'd make a shawl for her, a rather special shawl. She's a Texan, and she wanted the shawl (a light, feathery shawl, she said) to be in solid Texas Burnt Orange. I was unfamiliar with this color. I looked it up online. It's (I think) the official color of the University of Texas at Austin! I drove to Michael's with my laptop in tow, opened to the university's page with their color. Yes, this page exists -- a style guide for their school color.
Vanna had a nice color.
And yet another possibility.
And this was quite nice, and not as brown as the photo indicates. But my friend wants a pure orange -- not variegated.
But the problem with Michael's yarn is that it's almost all bulky yarn, or at least worsted weight. Really no yarn that would give you that light, airy, feathery feel. I needed a special yarn. So ...
I went to Weaver's Webb, or as all yarn-addicts in the greater New Bern area call it: The Haven of Temptation and Wickedness and Deep Debt.
Even Adam liked this store.
The yarn is delicious. They should include bowl and spoon with each skein.
The owner was there. She created this elegant, ethereal shawl.
And I post this photo purely for myself, so I will remember to go back and BUY THIS YARN later and make something beautiful for myself.
After much deliberation, the saleslady and I chose this yarn. The "CoBaSi" at the top says it is made of cotton, bamboo, and silk. And it feels lovely.
Then the nice lady asked, "Would you like for me to wind it for you?" And I knew nothing, so I said, "yes."
I've seen these in yarn stores before, but had not seen one in action.
It works beautifully for these long skeins like the ones I bought.
This little contraption wound the yarn onto a tidy, compact ball.
The yarn comes out looking like this, and it pulls perfectly from the center.
See? I've started the shawl with a stitch that (I hope) will give it a light, feathery feel. The yarn is very slim and soft, and should help with that. I'm using size 13 needles to keep the stitches open and airy, and to help the project go more quickly. Hopefully I'll remember to take a photo later and show you how it turned out!

Village Walk

Adam burst a tire on his bike, so we took a walk one evening instead.
autumn tree at the town marina
Adam skips stones at the harbor.
a very fun local porch
A lovely old home being raised after the hurricane -- three years later!
I love how they've kept the wicker furniture on the porch.
boat decor in a front yard ... a bit past its prime
distinctive artwork on our beloved old theatre
new roof and marquis at the theatre - nice work!
Many sailors have found this true.
Lots of rain in recent weeks have made for soggy bottoms.
The lady who lives next to this area feeds the turtles each evening, I've heard.
A large turtle is beneath this slurry, but I couldn't get him to show his head again.
The boat below has been sunk in Whittaker Creek for at least a year. I don't know how it ended up that way -- a hurricane maybe? Folks have come and stripped it of all hardware, even the mast. But somebody decided it was worth raising again. (They put large inflatable balloon-like things in the boat, fill them with air, and get the boat to float that way.) I wonder what will be done with it now?
And ... an update on the cute little cabin in town! It's looking like a real house now. Windows in! Siding on and painted! The porches are coming along.

Last night's sunset was spectacular. Here's a series of photos, progressively closer to the ball of fire ~